I won the “Open Ear” Prize!

I won the “Open Ear” Prize!

I am exhilarated to share the stupefying news that I won the Dutch composer prize, OPEN OOR (Open Ear)!

I am beholden to the voices in the colonial sound archives that I had the privilege of hearing and meeting in my sonic disentanglement expeditions. Through them, I realize that the sounds that give me pleasure, joy, grief, and anger, and the very musical ambitions I (foolishly) pursue are intertwined with the intergenerational desire to listen and to be listened to, within and despite the political and economic relations we are subjected to.

I hold this brass ear and think about the people and communities resounding their sound worlds and sound cultures (including those muted by history), opening my ears to a multitude of sonic utopias, past, present, and—if our planet would allow us—future. Maraming salamat po.

Truly, this is a lavish birthday gift.

You can read the full jury report from the Trillende Lucht Foundation’s website.

[In the picture, from left to right: Annamiek Rijckenberg and Peter Adriaansz(board members of the Trillende Lucht Foundation), meLê yamomo, and Alison Isadora (President of the Jury)]

Read the news from:
New Music Now
Het Nieuw Genootschap van Nederlandse Componisten
University of Amsterdam

From the Press Release:


meLê yamomo is the fourth winner of the biennial composer prize OPEN EAR. The prize is awarded by the Trillende Lucht Foundation to ‘composers whose music has a world of its own or whose world is clearly in the making.’ A secret jury selects a winning composer every two years; you cannot be nominated.

From the jury report:

‘yamomo incorporates text, sound, and image into his compositions in such a way that they provide new frameworks for what we understand by art. Complex issues of colonialism are addressed through the sound archive, resulting in works that are simultaneously poetic, poignant, and sometimes cheerful, but always thought-provoking. By creating artistic and auditory bridges, he enables us, his audience, to cross over from cognitive understanding to experiences on other existential levels. This is not a surface investigation but one that generously offers the audience an opportunity for expanded insight, one that asks us to look beyond the easy notion that the West is the only centre of new thought and experience.’

The full jury report (Dutch and English) can be found on the website of the Trillende Lucht Foundation. President of the 2022 jury was Alison Isadora.

yamomo: “Sometimes you just have to listen.”

meLê yamomo’s work is characterized by a focus on time and place, on ‘sonic entanglements,’ and the materiality of sound. yamomo, born in the Philippines, lives in Amsterdam and Berlin and works there as a composer, researcher, and theatermaker. In 2018 his book Sounding Modernities: Theater and Music in Manila and the Asia Pacific 1869-1946 was published. Academic research and composition are so intertwined in yamomo’s work that it is difficult to see or hear where one ends and the other begins.

yamomo’s work will be performed during November Music.

Press: Mrs. A. Rijckenberg a.rijckenberg@planet.nl and mr. P. Adriaansz p.adriaansz@planet.nl (board members of the Trillende Lucht Foundation)